On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a law raising the state’s minimum wage. In New York City and some more prosperous suburbs, the new minimum wage will be $15, while in the rest of the state, the new minimum wage will be $12.50. The increases will be phased in, and millions will see wage increases. Future wage increases will be tied to economic indicators. The law also establishes 12 weeks of paid family leave for working people.
New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento applauded the legislation:
Three million working people in New York state will see their wages go up due to the $15 per hour minimum wage, making New York the first state in the country to reach that landmark. Raising the minimum wage is long overdue and is a step in the right direction toward addressing poverty and income inequality. This meaningful wage will allow hard-working men and women the opportunity to better support themselves and their families, and enjoy a standard of living and quality of life they can be proud of.
As reported last week, California also passed legislation to raise its minimum wage to $15, reminding us that while Congress sits idle, working people throughout the country continue to fight to raise wages.
This blog originally appeared in aflcio.org on April 5, 2016. Reprinted with permission.
Kenneth Quinnell is a long time blogger, campaign staffer, and political activist. Prior to joining AFL-CIO in 2012, he worked as a labor reporter for the blog Crooks and Liars. He was the past Communications Director for Darcy Burner and New Media Director for Kendrick Meek. He has over ten years as a college instructor teaching political science and American history.